Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Bread Maker Machine

Zojirushi BB-PAC20-bread-maker

  • Can Be Found On: Amazon.com
Every now and then a product manages to put everything together in just the right way. It’s almost like someone was standing by your side and designing it just for you. Zojirushi has done that with their Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker. It’s one of the top-of-the-line breadmakers on the market from a company that has been in operation for almost a century. But it’s about much more than bread.

The Virtuoso can also make:

  • Jams and jellies.
  • Cakes.
  • Doughs for everything from pizza to pastries.
  • Sourdough Starters.
  • And of course, bread.

Featuring a unique heating element in the top of the unit, every loaf comes out of the Virtuoso with a browned crust, not just the sides and bottom. It’s one of the design features that uniquely defines this bread machine.

The control panel is integrated with a digital clock that will allow you to set a timer to bake your bread up to 13 hours in advance, and the LCD panel makes it easy to read and not only determine completion time but navigate the menu.

The Customer Ratings are High

Customers have been very positive about this product and the ratings consistently score high. According to a Virtuoso owner:

“Absolutely incredible that such bread can come from a machine. A well kneaded, proofed and baked loaf has many benefits. Less yeast, better texture and better slicing.”

 

Gluten Free Baking

Bread making is about more than the average daily loaf. Zojirushi has designed a full course of gluten free recipes that bring baked bread to the table for many people concerned about conditions like Celiac or other gluten related issues.

“It has my ‘GLUTEN FREE’ setting and is so quiet I have to get up close to it to make sure its mixing or kneading” 

 

Two Paddle Design Kneads Dough More Efficiently

zojirushi-bread-maker5Most bread machines use one paddle to mix and knead the dough. The Virtuoso has two kneading paddles that knead the dough faster and more thoroughly than single paddle machines. This also helps during the rising cycle.

For some Virtuoso owners this two-paddle design was a key reason for buying:

“The Virtuoso has the best paddle design of any machine I have ever seen. The two-paddle low profile design mixes well.”

Some customers have found that the two paddles can result in a lopsided bread in smaller loaf sizes like 1 pound as opposed to the larger 1.5 and 2 pound settings. Zojirushi recommends that the paddles be aligned in the pan if that’s a problem, and that having them in alignment should distribute the dough evenly before rising.

 

Unique Top-browning Element

zojirushi-bread-maker3

Zojirushi added a top-browning element in the lid to create uniform browning over the top of the loaf. It works equally well for 1 pound, 1-1/2 pound and 2 pound settings. For many Virtuoso owners it’s the one feature they like the most:

“The crust is just right – not tough or hard; the top is golden and even; every loaf and every cake, whether complex or simple, has been almost freakishly flawless.”

 

Broad Range of Baking Options and Pre-Programmed Settings

pizza-jam-meatloaf

The Virtuoso offers a large set of pre-programmed baking cycle and course options. There are three crust shades and 10 pre-programmed settings including: Basic, Basic Wheat, Basic Dough, Quick, Quick Wheat, Quick Dough, Jam, Cake, Sour Dough Starter, and 3 homemade menu options. While most Virtuoso owners still focus on bread, many have been pleasantly surprised by the some of the unique options such as cake and jam:

Made fresh strawberry jam the other evening which is to die for.”

 

Very Good Performance with Whole Wheat and Home-Milled Flours

zojirushi-bread-maker6

It should be no surprise that a breadmaker can produce a good loaf, but many of them don’t perform as well when rustic flours like Home-Milled, rice flour or whole wheat are in the recipe. The Virtuoso seems to have found the solution through it’s pre-programmed settings, and the two-paddle design also ensures complete blending and kneading. Another owner was not only pleased by the result of his first loaf but mentioned the advantage of the large viewing window on the top of the machine and the double handles on the loaf pan.

“It was simple and fun. Couldn’t stop looking through the view window. It was beautiful. I’d pay $5 for the wheat loaf I made in a store. I also like the double handle design on the loaf pan a lot. Much easier to deal with for both using and cleaning.”

 

Stable and Quiet Operation

Many owners appreciate the stability of the machine, particularly during kneading; its quiet operation and the traditional shape and length of the loaf the Virtuoso produces.

“What I really like is that unlike all the others which are vertical loaf style, this one produces a horizontal loaf with a more traditional internal structure and crumb.”

Stability has a downside as well. The Virtuoso is a heavy machine weighing in at 27 pounds. It’s light enough to lift and move but you’ll need two hands to do it. Most owners find a dedicated spot and keep the unit in that location. Its power cord is only 3 feet long so any location will need to have an electrical outlet in close proximity.

Zojirushi’s Bread Maker Common Questions

“Can this deal with seeds? I would like to make bread with lots of whole seeds.”

This machine can easily handle seeds. So far I haven’t found anything I can’t do with it.

“Can I use active dry yeast with this bread machine? I would be using “my own” recipes.”

Absolutely, just place the yeast on top of the flour. You can also use “instant” yeast the same way.

“Does it have a programmable cycle?”

The BB-PAC20 has three programmable (they call it “homemade”) memories.

“Does the bottom of the machine need to be on a special surface when baking bread?”

No. It can be on a counter top or table top as long as the surface is flat and solid.

“Is the nonstick pan made of stainless steel or aluminum?”

The baking pan is made from aluminum.

The Virtuoso is Building Quite a Following

zojirushi-bread-maker2The reputation of the Virtuoso continues to grow and so does its following. Beyond the people who simply like to bake their own bread; people who pursue gluten free diets, bake with whole grains or home-mill their own grains are turning to the Home Bakery Virtuoso.

The model number for the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso is BB-PAC20. It measures 18 x 10-1/2 x 12-7/8 inches. It’s electrical rating is 120 volts at 700 watts and is available in black.

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Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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  1. Reply
    Jenny October 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm
    5
    Overall Rating
    100

    I am very happy with this bread machine and we all use it at least once or twice a week. More on holidays

    + PROS: Viewing window
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  2. Reply
    Glenn Malling July 31, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    The Virtuoso has only one shortcoming, but it does not affect the bread making. The display really really really needs a backlight. My Virtuoso lives in a dark corner and I have to use a flashlight to see the display.

  3. Reply
    Magen December 21, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Good machine for making gluten free bread. So much cheaper than buying in the store or bakery.

  4. Reply
    Rene November 10, 2015 at 6:19 am

    I love my Virtuoso. The loaf pan size and shape makes bread the right size for sandwiches and toast. The 1.5 pound loaves are the perfect height but the 2 pounders are too tall for my liking and not ideal for 100% whole grain IMHO. The crust bakes nicely just as in my oven. This is my 4th bread machine that I have used over the last 20 years. Unless someone invents a better one this is the best:-)

  5. Reply
    Craig October 8, 2015 at 9:04 am

    It is quiet and does a really great job!

  6. Reply
    Anne August 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I have had just bought just about every brand of bread machine at one time or another. My favorites have been made by Panasonic and Zojirushi. The bottom line is you really do get what you pay for in quality and durability. This new “Zo” is heavy duty and makes a very good and normal shaped loaf.

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